Many a public speaker, addressing an audience comprising a mix of diverse backgrounds, finds it fascinating to dwell on the land’s glorious past, not forgetting to lament in impressive rhetoric about the current decline in the values of life carefully nurtured and guarded by past generations. Some semblance of the ways of life traced to even a not-too-distant past, particularly during celebrations of festivals as well as show of grief on occasions of the passing away of near and dear ones, marks the steady decline of the perceived values, practised customs and followed traditions. However, even as the dailies patronised by their captive readers miss no opportunity to describe the celebrations as well as sad events in gratifying words, resorting to exaggerated expressions and subdued language respectively, one cannot but get a taste of the formality factor as against unconcealed heartlessness on the part of the congregations.
The wise among the people of ancient times, many of them acclaimed astronomers and scholars aware of the intimate connect between nature and life of all living forms, including human beings as well as all flora and fauna, had set the ground rules for both joyful and sorrowful events, witnessing a gradual makeover in our times due to economic reasons and compulsions of life in overcrowded urban spaces, in addition to their extended influence on rural folk.
The journos cannot be faulted for filing exciting portrayal of the populace trooping into the portals of places of worship on all festivities with usual fervour, never doubting the warmth and earnestness on their part. Even the Gods shall be pleased, if one believes the view of the believers in divine intervention in ensuring bountiful nature year on year. This section of the devout is disenchanted about the hoarse voices of rationalists denouncing the land’s traditions as unfounded beliefs on grounds of faiths.
The foregoing preamble relating to a) Ways of people’s life in land that has witnessed a sea-change and b) Trust in the bounty of nature that stands fractured, prompts one to take a peek at the unmistakable extent to which the land’s culture as it were stands morphed to where its masses have reached. Lastly, sticking to time-honoured cultural practices, particularly celebrating festive occasions, is proving expensive, thanks to soaring costs of festive-related essentials, leaving no option except cutting corners. Culture of the diaspora is clearly at crossroads.